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The Alps

An unusual guide to explore Italy in winter

Italy is beautiful in every season, but you have to know when to go where. So if you are planning to visit Italy in the coldest season, here’s your unusual guide to explore its best parts in winter.

As winter is approaching faster and faster (YES, it’s only 20 days away) I thought it would be useful to provide a (unusual) guide to visit Italy in this cold season.

So here I am today with these unusual 4 tips to the dolcevita country.

Ready? Let’s go!

Visit the most humid city in Italy: Venice

Ok, to start with this suggestion is a bit weird for me because, if I have to be honest, I would never suggest visiting Venice in winter.

In fact, winter is my least favourite season in this beautiful city because of three very simple reasons:

  1. Crazy high humidity
  2. Crazy (humid) cold
  3. Risk of high tide (which are much more frequent in the cold seasons)

Nevertheless, if you are brave enough to face these “risks”, Venice will always blow your mind away.

Venezia dal Fondaco dei Tedeschi
Sunset in Venice from Fondaco dei Tedeschi rooftop

Especially if you are lucky enough to find sunsets like this – that you can enjoy from the stunning terrace of Fondaco dei Tedeschi shopping mall.

And if you are not that lucky to find beautiful days, you can always spend your days visiting the many museums like the eternal Palazzo Ducale.

Palazzo Ducale
Palazzo Ducale

Ok, now that I’ve seen these pictures again I would go right now, no matter the cold or the humid weather.

Visit a not-so-popular city, like Sulmona (Abruzzo)

Raise your hand if you have heard of this town before (or better said: let me know in the comments).

In the past, Sulmona was actually a very important town, home of the famous Latin poet Ovid.

Its super power? 

Thanks to its charming historic centre, narrow streets, historic buildings and beautiful churches, it will enchant you at first sight. 

Surrounded by the mountains of Abruzzo, Sulmona will warm your heart even in winter: enjoy a walk along the main corso and in the beautiful piazza, a true gem between the arches of the elegant medieval aqueduct.

When you visit Sulmona, make sure to try confetti (sugared almonds): the town is famous in Italy for having the oldest and best confetti factory!

The city centre of Sulmona

Go to the Alps: but only after having visited Trento

Whether you are a winter sports fan or not, you cannot miss the chance to go to the Alps in winter. Super snowy, super charming, it is the perfect place where to enjoy a mix of sport, relax and nature. A true winter Italian experience.

On the way to the Alps, there is a small city that you have to visit – especially during Christmas time: Trento. Elegant, with an almost regal spirit, this city combines nature and culture: just the perfect spot to enjoy one or two days to get into the Italian spirit before hitting the mountains. 

Explore the history of the city by visiting Basilica of San Vigilio, Castello del Buonconsiglio and Palazzo Pretorio. If you are into art, you shouldn’t miss out on the MUSE and MART – especially on a rainy day. 

If, on the other hand, you visit Trento on a sunny day before Christmas, make sure to explore the thousands of Christmas markets, full of lights and colours, or visit the beautiful Lake Garda.

After having left Trento, I can only suggest you go to Madonna di Campiglio – my favorite winter spot since I was a kid!

It is a small mountain town full of bars and restaurants but, most importantly, full of ski slopes: it is a great place where to mix sport and fun.

Ski slopes in Madonna di Campiglio
Ski slopes in Madonna di Campiglio

If you are not on a budget, my favorite hotel in Madonna di Campiglio is Biohotel Hermitage from where you can enjoy an astonishing view (check the view from my bedroom last time I went there).

Room view from Biohotel Hermitage, Madonna di Campiglio
Room view from Biohotel Hermitage, Madonna di Campiglio

One last recommendation for Madonna di Campiglio is a hot chocolate at Bar Suisse, a trendy and chic historic bar right in the town centre.

Spend some time in Fermo and its hills, Le Marche

You may know by now that I am from this area of Italy, and I cannot but suggest a visit in the area of Fermo.

The old medieval towns are brightened up by the Christmas lights and warmed by the atmosphere of the Christmas markets: a true wonder for Christmas enthusiasts.

My suggestion is to stop for a few nights in the countryside surrounding Fermo (for example Villa de Castelletta is a beautiful castle where to spend a few nights and relax surrounded by nature): a little but very characteristic city in between the seaside (15 minutes away) and the Sibillini Mountains (25 minutes away).

Fermo in winter
Piazza del Popolo, Fermo

For more winter tips, stay tuned.. we have something else coming up soon!

Andrea (a male name in winter too)


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